Last night I laid down to rest, tired from the journey of traveling from Texas (home) to the home of my meditation teachers in Fairfield, Iowa. (Yes, teachers. I have two meditation teachers, a brilliant, loving couple Jim & Catherine.) Its early April and Iowa is still quite cold, so I lay bundled under three blankets with my comfy pjs and socks on. The roar of the floor heater was humming in the over 100-year old home. I felt the softness of the spot I was laying in, and I imagined the bright stars above me (so many beautiful stars out here!). As the physical comfort settled in, the idea of sleeping under the same roof as my meditation teachers, came into my mind. I felt something that I used to know, a familiar yet somewhat distant feeling — I felt safe. Completely safe with everything in my life. It was a feeling that I remember as a child when I just knew that my parents were the smartest, most all-knowing people on the planet. As a 36-year old adult, this feeling isn’t as present as it was when I was a child. Although some days I would love to have someone else point me in the right direction, hug me and tell me everything is going to be all right, or just fill the space of being the smartest, most all-knowing adult in my life — but, as I grow older, I realize that that person… is me.
So, what was it about that moment that made me feel so safe?
I observed that feeling of safety and began to understand that Fairfield has become one of my “homes” over the past few years, I moderately know my way around, and I catch up with my extended Iowa “family” when I am here. Of course, that feeling feels safe. And then I thought about how my meditation teachers know me. They know me well, they guided me into Ayurveda, Transcendental Meditation, and have read my Jyotish chart for me over the past few years. They know me, well!, flaws and all. And they accept me and love me for who I am, flaws and all. And, that feeling feels incredibly safe and very nurturing.
As the Observers of our own lives, we are sometimes the only ones that know all of our own secrets and flaws, things we wouldn’t dare tell anyone else. Are we loving ourselves, creating the feeling of being safe within ourselves? Or are we just being judgmental, creating a hostile environment comparing ourselves to others or even harshly wishing we were someone else?
How often do we genuinely accept and love ourselves?
It has taken me years to remove the self-doubt that piled up in my life as a young adult. But now, more than ever, I feel more and more like myself. I have learned to accept who I am, where I am, and love, love, love the life that I have been blessed with — flaws and all! My flaws make me — me. Those are the flaws that have led me to the experiences that I came here to have. They have helped teach me the lessons that I came here to learn. And they have made me into the person that I am. Without them… I would be someone else.
I am learning to love myself by practicing self-love every day by tuning into and listening to myself. Practicing self-love has become part of my Sadhana. And through learning to feel safe, accepted, nurtured, and loved by myself — I am learning to do the same with others.